life, love, a recipe & the rest.

Wowzers… been a while right?

What can I say? Just around the time of my last post, I booked a project which rolled into another project… and then another and another and before I knew it I was 5 months in & 13 jobs deep. It was a roller-coaster of a summer to say the least. After months of work, sleepless nights and a few tears I came away with new friends, a great sense of accomplishment and a store of new experience. I actually feel a tinge of confidence in my work now. I don’t come in to a new office with an unsettling fear that I will fail and disappoint the people who hired me (along with those who recommended me). It’s kind of great.

So now where am I?

Professionally, I’m working on a new project with a new PM and new Producer and entirely new crew. It’s a bit strange to come on to a set and not immediately recognize 50+ faces but… that’s the name of the game in commercial production (I was just spoiled by my golden summer).

Personally, I’m spending most of my free time playing video games on a couch I’ve grown extremely comfortable laying on, reading cooking blogs (smittenkitchen.com, amateurgourmet.com & thekitchn.com are my current favorites), and missing my family. All of the siblings are now spread out across the country with the singer and I still in LA, the actor in Davis, the photographer in Chicago and the baller (and littlest of all of us) studying her brain out in Tennessee. What’s worse than us all being spread out? It will be the first Christmas that we can’t all be together. In the past, there were times when some of us were in the Philippines for the holidays but this is truly the first time we don’t really have a choice in the matter. I love this time of year but this really will be a bittersweet Christmas.

“]

my amazing family (mia: photographer, baller & gopher)

Ok, enough sap for one evening.

The real reason I thought about posting is because of a picture of huevos rancheros I posted on facebook this past weekend. Backstory: On Sunday, I was whipping up the boyfriend’s favorites for breakfast (french toast, corned beef & hash + fried eggs) when I was at a loss as to what to make for myself. We’ve really been into Chopped lately so he decided to throw a “secret ingredient” at me which I had to use in my meal (though I really think he was just trying to get rid of something he bought by mistake). It was a can of El Pato’s salsa de chile fresco which translates to “roasted fresh chile salsa”.

After I popped open the can & tasted its contents [pretty much tastes like tomato sauce with a very large kick], all I wanted was to bring back memories of my mini-trip to Mexico and have huevos rancheros for breakfast. Not to toot my own horn, but they turned out pretty good. And apparently other people thought so too! Ever since I posted this picture, I keep getting messages about the recipe. So here goes…

Typically huevos rancheros is made with fried corn tortillas, fried eggs & tomato-chili sauce. Mine? I made it with whatever I currently had in the kitchen. This is a super simple recipe that involves cooking 4-separate parts which is then combined together on a plate.

Ingredients:
1 can of salsa de chile fresco
2 eggs
1 large flour tortilla
1 can of refried black beans
shredded monterey jack & cheddar cheeses
1/2 medium yellow onion (chopped)
butter
vegetable oil

Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF. Or if you’re not fussy like me, just set it to a high-broil. You’re just toasting tortilla’s after all.

Sauce:
I started by melting about a teaspoon of butter in a 3qt sauce pan. Once the butter had fully coated the bottom, I added the chopped onions and sautéed until tender then added the can of salsa de chile fresco. Bring sauce to a simmer and leave uncovered to reduce the sauce and thicken it. Alt: If you don’t care for onions, pour that bad boy into a microwave safe bowl and heat till warm.

Tortillas:
Cut up the tortilla into triangular bite-sized pieces. Toss them on to a baking sheet and pop ’em in your pre-heated oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until they crisp and brown. Alt: For extra crispy tortillas, sprinkle them with a bit of olive oil & salt to taste then mix with hands before toasting in oven.

Beans:
In a small skillet, coat the bottom with a bit of vegetable oil (I use stainless steel this is necessary but for you teflon folks, a teeny bit of PAM spray should do it) then add your can of refried beans (I prefer the black variety). Once it begins to soften, add a small handful of the shredded cheese. Continue heating until cheese melts, stir in & set aside.

Eggs:
This already a super heavy meal… so I used a non-stick pan with the teeniest bit of oil (I poured some on a paper towel and spread it on the fry pan), cracked two eggs in, added some salt & covered on medium-low heat until the whites were fully set. Alt: Poach em’, fry em’, boil em’—do it your favorite way… whatever’s clever loveys!

Plate:
Start with the tortillas — put them on the plate so that they sort of cover the bottom. Cover with the heated refried beans and then lay on those eggs. Pour the sauce over everything then sprinkle on a handful of shredded cheese.

ena's not-so-typical huevos rancheros

¡Provecho!

Bad Car Karma on Another Long Day

Just sent out my last work email and it’s nearly 12:30AM. Normally I wouldn’t think this such a big deal had I not started my day at 5:30AM—19 hours and still going. It’s been a while since I’ve done this to myself.

I actually started this post at 11:37PM, sitting outside of the EP office in my car just so I could use the internet connection in order to send out said work email. The files I needed to send were too big so I had to do some resizing but was quickly running out of juice on my laptop. I briefly considered opening up the office then quickly ruled it out because in all honesty, I’ve been a lot more conscious of deserted streets since the mugging and waiting on one empty corner was enough nervousness I could stand in one night. Trying to unlock a padlocked gate, then an office door to a building full of very expensive film equipment while simultaneously feeling terrified to look over my shoulder to see someone trying to grab me and beat me up again was not something I felt like dealing with. Sooo… I headed home to complete the work. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My morning started out ok. Skipped the crack of dawn workout in hopes of putting in an evening gym session (which unfortunately did not happen) and had a cereal bar for breakfast as I ran out the door in order to pick up the director at 7am sharp. She, however, was not ready when I got there so I sat in my car for about 30min or so listening to NPR and double checking the calendar for the day. By the time she was raring to go, my battery was dead. See… this kind of thing has never happened to me before. I’ve often sat and listened to the radio, engine off with no problem starting the car when I good and ready. SO embarrassing. Yesterday I get a speeding ticket and now this.

We ended up taking her car over to the production office for the test shoots and from then on, it was an interesting day to say the least. Frustrations, people not listening, people talking over each other, whispered dramas in corners, short tempers, dizzying conversations and lots and lots of make-up. Thank the lord the model was so nice. I swear, this girl is a dream. Absolutely gorgeous but also funny, tomboyish, helpful, intelligent AND knew what I was talking about when I said I once dressed as a night elf from War Craft 3 (yes, that’s true and don’t judge me). Before you ask: Sorry, guy friends, I cannot give you her number.

Anyway, after all the craziness of the testing was over and done with and the director was content with what we had been able to accomplish, I was left to take a taxi back to my poor defunct car which my dear friend Johnny had promised to bolster back to life with the help of jumper cables. This is when waiting at a dark corner at 10pm—in an industrial, deserted area no less—and feeling that creepy sense that something awful was going to happen (though nothing did) kicked in. When the driver found me, I was so relieved I practically leapt into the cab.

Instead of heading to my car right away, I met J & lovely Lindy at La Cabana for a late dinner and a well-deserved margarita. I managed to eat 1 fish taco before I felt stuffed (a shrunken tum from not eating all day because of busy schedules will do that to a person) and unfortunately spent a majority of the dinner preparing documents for work. Even though I definitely don’t make a habit of doing that, J&L are good to me and didn’t hassle me or take offense for working at the dinner table. I know it’s rude, but in this instance, it had to be done.

After dinner they drove me back to my car and on the way there I seriously thought to myself, I bet when we get there, if I try it again, the car will start, and low and behold it did. BUT along with the miracle of a self-corrected battery… I also had another a parking ticket.

Let’s see: speeding ticket, dead battery, and now parking ticket. My luck with my car this week is seriously on the low side. Anyone with good car karma want to share the wealth? I could seriously use it.

So basically I had a very long day, still didn’t make my caloric goal (I was short about 100) and had about an hour of downtime with friends. Now it’s past 1AM and I should really stop writing this blog post, get off of iChat and go to sleep so I can wake up at 6AM and go to the gym. No, I’m not crazy. I’m just determined to do everything I want to do.

Can we add 6 more hours to everyday? Make it an even 30?

I’ll just pretend the universe said, “Yes.”

That Age Old Question

When I lived in NY I used to lie about my age on a regular basis but it’s not in the way you’d think. Most of the time I tried my best to keep it a secret but in those situations when I was called to answer the question Ena, how old are you? instead of telling the truth I would say 33 with a smile and walk away before any more questions could be asked.

I was reminded why I felt almost forced to do this while reading an article in Glamour about a 28-year-old female entrepreneur. She too felt the need to avoid the dreaded age question. Fact is, as an intelligent, creative and confident woman I’m taken less seriously as soon as people find out my age. Especially when taking a look at my résumé in which case most people think I have way too much experience for someone of 25. Now THAT I don’t exaggerate. I’ve been working since I was 16 and have done everything from assisting to writing to counseling to managing so it’s only natural that I have a lot to offer, no?

The habit of lying about my age really came about when I worked at an English school as a student counselor. I had created the administration and immigration systems while there and pretty much ran the admin department. It was my responsibility to make sure all the students were happy but that they were also going to the classes. Unfortunately a lot of the students were either my age or older so I spent a lot of time in the beginning having to prove that despite my age I was in charge and deserved to be so. In the end, it was just easier to lie and thirty-three rolled so easily off the tongue.

Surprisingly, I haven’t felt the need at all to lie here in LA. Then again I’ve been freelancing and interning while here. As soon as I get off my rump and find a 9 to 5 worth the sacrifice of my flexible schedule I’ll probably turn to lying again. Le sigh.

Madness & Man-Thongs

If you’re my facebook friend, you probably know that I woke up at an ungodly hour and ended up going to the gym around 5:30am. I absolutely didn’t intend on waking that early but anxiousness about the sudden interview I had scheduled today had my brain working on overdrive. ANNND since I already have a hard time getting my mind to shut the heck up the majority of the time, I simply couldn’t sleep more than 3 hours. Oh yeah, did I mention I went to bed at 2? Sucks.

Still, it was absolute bliss to be at the gym without having to wait for the treadmill or any of the machines or weights or what have you. Oh and NO MAN THONG.

Explanation: There’s a member there who must have a higher self-esteem than I can even imagine. Everyone at the gym knows who you’re talking about if you say man thong and that’s because he comes into the sauna wearing a towel, only to take off said towel to reveal—you guessed it—his man thong. He usually arrives in white velour pants and has also on occasion gone into the spa wearing white shorts: I’ve definitely seen his junk more then once & honestly the first time was already one too many times. Yesterday he stood right in front of me in with his bare-ass facing me while he bent and stretched and even picked at his booty-tah. *shudder*

 
There are a few other guys at the gym I try to avoid as well like DC, Roids & possibly Ginger [he might end up being cool]. To put it simply, while it’s always nice to make a new friend especially if I find a work-out buddy who’s willing to do outdoorsy things with me, I don’t go there to get hit on, or eye-f***ed, or anything of the sort. I’m usually huffing & puffing & sweaty! How is that hot?

ANYway, so I had an interview out of the blue. I applied for a position on Thursday that I didn’t think this company would even consider me for because I’m young and kind of inexperienced but I figured why not at least try. The pay is good, I’d get to travel A LOT, meet new people on the daily, deal with constantly changing environments. It’s pretty much the ideal situation I’d want to be in. They called me a few hours after I sent in my résumé and scheduled the meeting for today. Crrrazycakes. I have no idea how I did, which is usually a good sign. Truth be told [& this might just jinx me, but I hope it doesn’t because I REALLLY want this job]: I’ve NEVER not gotten a job I’ve interviewed for. So if I don’t get it, be ready for an epic-emotastic-the-world-hates-me kind of entry. Rest at ease for now: I don’t find out for a few weeks.

In the mean time, since my brain’s all-a-jumble with thoughts… a check-in on the resolutions. They say that it takes 21 days to kick a habit and I think I’m definitely getting there. No cigarettos for 21 days. It’s going so well that the smell now makes me sick to my stomach… unless I’m drinking. I still crave the cancer sticks when I’m a little tipsy which is why I’ve also cut down on drinking. I’m just a bundle of health, aren’t I? Lol…

And I’ve definitely been picking up Toni everyday (that’s my guitar) though I’ve also been getting back into the piano. I learned two easy songs the other day and MAYYYBE I’ll post videos of them. Maybe. If you’re curious, the songs are Mad World and First Love.

And now my stomach is grumbling to get fed. Tah, kids.

crap in a box.

I am currently at the reception desk answering phone calls, ordering messengers, filling out FedEx forms and generally screwing around on the computer since I can’t do anything that’s in my actual job description from the seat I am sitting in. I will be here all Monday and any and all subsequent Mondays that I will have working at my current company.

Can I just say— this blows.

With the recession, ________ is trying to cut back on as much cost as possible and apparently a full-time receptionist is just too costly. So now our current receptionist has been forced into part-time work leaving other people in the office to cover Mondays and Fridays. Guess who gets to cover reception on Mondays? Gah. Bleh. Grr.

Yes, this situation calls for 3 different types of frustrated noises.

equaling out.

More IT work last night. I was finally able to get the laptop running on Vista to map the network drive of the desktop running on XP as well as link it to the networked printer. I still couldn’t figure out how to connect the XP directly to the shared folder of the Vista but I’ll let that slide.

Scoreboard: Vista-2, Ena-2. And I’m totally okay with that.

I didn’t get home until around 9:30pm so I was thoroughly exhausted and hungry but a glass of wine, leftovers, a hot shower and guitar practice were able to calm my nerves. I should however seriously take a step away from smoking. I was able to lessen my habit by a lot in the month of December but I’ve again grown accustomed to smoking every time I step outside. Not good at all.

I’m also a bit bummed because my laptop is busted (why Mac, why?!) so the only access I have to my email and the web when I’m at home is on my G1. Seriously, thank gulay for that thing… I’ve become so reliant on always being connected that it’s really bothersome to not be able to turn on my computer. I’m so glad I got AppleCare.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo for years and my lovely sister, Lorelei, sent me the image below last night as a potential tat. I’m thinking of getting it on my right hip but I’ve always been hesitant to get myself inked because I think I might regret it when I’m older. What do you think?

niclo_tat2

 

And lastly, congratulations again to my Ading on finding a new job! Woohoo employment!!!